EQT to sell last of Gambro stake

Following the delisting in 2006, the business was split into three parts, two of which EQT and Investor, a Swedish investment company, have already exited.

EQT Partners and Investor, a Swedish investment company, have agreed to sell their stakes in Gambro Group, a medical company, to Baxter, a healthcare company, for SEK 26.5 billion (€3.1 billion, $4 billion). 

EQT, which owned a 51 percent stake and Investor, which owned the remaining 49 percent, delisted Gambro Group from the Stockholm Stock Exchange in 2006 for SEK 35 billion, according to a statement. The firms then split the business into three independent companies: Gambro Healthcare, CaridianBCT and Gambro dialysis. 

Last year, EQT and Investor sold CaridianBCT to Terumo Corporation, a Japanese medical technology business, for $2.6 billion. In 2007, the firms sold Gambro Healthcare to Bridgepoint, a UK-based private equity firm, for SEK 6.1 billion.  With the sale of Gambro, EQT and Investor will have divested all three parts of the original company. The total transaction value from the three divestments is approximately SEK 50 billion (€5.8 billion, $7.6 billion).

The transaction still needs to be approved by the relevant competition authorities and is expected to be completed during the first half of 2013.

It is unclear what the sale will do for the overall performance of EQT’s Fund IV, the vehicle from which Gambro Group was acquired. EQT did not respond to requests for comment as of press time.

EQT has been relatively active this year. In October, the firm bought a 70 percent stake in Tiger, a Danish retail chain, for an undisclosed sum. In August, it acquired IT software vendor UC4 for €220 million from Carlyle Europe Technology Partners. In June, the firm bought BSN Medical, a German medical company, from Montagu Private Equity for €1.8 billion, which is the largest European deal so far this year, according to data from CMBOR as of 1 October 2012. 

EQT also has completed some exits recently. In March 2011, it sold German cable operator Kabel Baden-Württemberg to trade group Liberty Global for €3.2 billion. In June 2011, the firm sold alarm manufacturer Securitas to Bain Capital & Hellman and Friedman for €2.3 billion. 

However, EQT also tried to divest ISS, a Danish service group, in recent years, but failed. The firm invested €3 billion in the company in 2005, alongside Goldman Sachs Capital Partners. In February 2011, EQT and Goldman prepared to exit the company through an IPO, but this was postponed because of market uncertainty. In November 2011, they tried to sell the company to G4S for £5.2 billion, but this was vetoed by G4S’ shareholders. In addition, the company received a €500 million cash injection from Canadian institutional investor Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plans and KIRKBI, a Danish family office, last August, to deleverage the business.